Scandinavia is packed with popular tourist destinations, and for good reason. Whether you hope to see the midnight sun, experience Nordic culture, or love history and architecture, you will find it abundant in nearly every direction.
Seeing this region by ship is a great way to explore the area. Baltic cruises allow for relaxing travel throughout the area, with stops in several major cities and surrounding countries. Cruising is a great way to introduce yourself to a new region. It is the perfect sampler for first-time visitors planning future travel.
10 Reasons To Consider Baltic Cruises
Whether you want to explore nature, history, architecture, or walk in the footsteps of the Vikings, you can do all that and more by choosing a Baltic cruise. We’ve got ten reasons to consider Baltic cruises on your first trip to Scandinavia, but this list is just the start. Once your trip is booked, follow the latest cruise travel advice to make the most of your incredible journey.
1. Port Intensive Itineraries
With so much to see in the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea, most cruises will have limited days at sea. Because of this, cruisers spend most daytime hours exploring cities like Stockholm, Helsinki, or Copenhagen rather than staying on the ship. Pack the walking shoes to make the most of these stops, and plan to maximize your time on land.
2. Potential for Overnights in Port
Another benefit to Baltic cruises is the potential for overnight port stays. Check itineraries before booking to see if your cruise includes multiple days in port. You can leave and return freely anytime if the ship is in port. This is an excellent option for travelers who want to experience nightlife in the city before returning to the ship.
3. First Visit to Northern Europe
If you are new to the area and need help deciding where to begin, choosing a Baltic cruise makes a lot of sense. It’s surprisingly easy to get a feel for a destination on your own or by booking an excursion. Baltic cruises also minimize travel time between cities or hotels by allowing you to keep your belongings in one place during your trip.
4. Calm Sailing
Sailing the Baltic Sea is typically a much more relaxed experience due to the calmer waters compared to more extensive ocean sailings. The summer months in this region usually offer pleasant weather and smooth sailing, which is welcome news to those who may experience motion sickness.
5. Few Tender Ports
Likewise, most Baltic ports allow ships to dock locally, thus avoiding the need to drop anchor and use a tender boat to transport passengers to shore. The lack of tender ports saves time and provides a more comfortable experience for those with mobility issues. When choosing a cruise ship, verify which ports require tendering.
6. Save Money on Meals
One of the best parts of traveling is trying new foods. However, cruising offers a reprieve from this added expense for those on a budget. Enjoy the included breakfast and dinner on the ship to save money and still have plenty left for snacks and lunch on shore. Consider booking a food tour of the city to get a great introduction to amazing local delicacies. Or read restaurant reviews and make a reservation if needed.
7. Active Vacationing
Nature lovers rejoice! Hiking, boating, and biking opportunities are available depending on your interests. Find beautiful royal gardens, national parks, beaches, rivers, and lakes to explore and enjoy. See some of the best natural places in Scandinavia and bask in their beauty. If enjoying the view is more your speed, set your alarm as you sail through the breathtaking Swedish Archipelago and take in the sights from your balcony.
8. See the Best of Scandinavia
For those who want to see as much as possible in a short amount of time, cruising makes it simple. Popular Baltic destinations include Stockholm, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; Copenhagen, Denmark; Tallinn, Estonia; Riga, Latvia; Oslo, Norway; and more. Explore local culture, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, theme parks, or museums just a few miles from each port.
9. Easy To Visit Related Destinations
Want to see even more? It’s easy to add a few days before or after your cruise. Travel by train in this area is convenient and makes it easy to explore when you have more time. If your trip is within the Schengen Area, you won’t have to pass through passport security in most places, making travel even more uncomplicated. For instance, if your cruise doesn’t include a particular location, add a few days to explore on your own before heading home.
10. Accumulate Points for Future Cruises
Avid cruise travelers accrue loyalty points when sailing multiple times with the same cruise line. These points correspond to different membership levels and offer added benefits for future cruising. For repeat cruisers, this is another way to extend the benefit of a Baltic cruise for the next vacation.
When planning a trip overseas, taking a cruise in Northern Europe may not be the first thought. But it is truly an enriching experience full of adventure and relaxation; everything a vacation should be.